New Wine for New Wineskins October 2006

By , October 4, 2006 8:05 am

Defeating the Giant of Tradition


Jesus said that there was something that could render the word of God ineffective in our lives – tradition!  Sometimes certain traditions are so well established that they can seem insurmountable – they are like giants standing in our way.  But it is possible to bring them down and move on into the fullness of God's best for our lives…

"You shall not be terrified of them; for the LORD your God,
the great and awesome God, is among you"

Deuteronomy 7: 21

1 Samuel 17: 20 – 26

20 Early in the morning David left the flock with a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry.
21 Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other.
22 David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and greeted his brothers.
23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it.
24 When the Israelites saw the man, they all ran from him in great fear.
25 Now the Israelites had been saying, "Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his father's family from taxes in Israel."
26 David asked the men standing near him, "What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?" 

It is time to face the Goliath of tradition, which has defied the armies of the living God!  This Goliath has stood in the way long enough – holding the church in a stalemate!

TRADITION – unwritten body of beliefs, customs, etc. handed down from generation to generation; custom or practice of long standing.

Unwritten!  When Jesus encountered His 'Goliath' He said, 'It is written!'

Several years ago the Lord spoke to me as I was meditating on John 10: 10.  He said, "You will have to break out of the cultural MORES if you are going to move into the MORE of God!"

MORES – customs and conventions embodying the fundamental values of a community

Unfortunately, sometimes you need to watch out for the 'encouragement' of your brethren.

1 Samuel 17: 28

28 When Eliab, David's oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, "Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle."

Notice that the emphasis is on the FEW sheep!  "How big is your church?" can be an intimidating question – but it is irrelevant!  The important question is, 'How big is your God?'  The enemy is always seeking to ' belittle' us!

1 Samuel 17: 41 – 44

41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David.
42 He looked David over and saw that he was only a boy, ruddy and handsome, and he despised him.
43 He said to David, "Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?" And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
44 "Come here," he said, "and I'll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!"

Our adversary's desire is to place LIMITS on us – to hold us captive by how we view ourselves!  If we bow down to his intimidation and believe his accusations we will be bound by fear and hopelessness.

But always remember – those who are faithful with the few are always in line for promotion!

David didn't go out as the shepherd of a few sheep – he went out in covenant partnership with THE SHEPHERD!

Psalm 23

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

You will generally find four types of people in every congregation or assembly of people.

1.  The ex – anointed (represented by Saul) – 'I did it for the people – I kept the animals to sacrifice to God' – Saul had lost his anointing to 'peer pressure' which always leads to 'fear pressure' – submitting to a man-pleasing spirit – conforming to the will of the majority.

2.  The un – anointed (represented by the Army) – They just go with the flow – they look more to leaders than to God, relating to God through men instead of maintaining a personal relationship with Him.

3.  The anti – anointed (represented by Goliath) – Sadly, David's older brother Eliab also came under the influence of the spirit of antichrist. It is always important to be aware of what spirit we are being led and influenced by.

4.  The new / freshly anointed (represented by David) Those who have maintained a fresh anointing upon their lives, because they have consistently recognised their dependence on the anointing.

Let's examine some of the traditional strongholds or 'strangleholds' that can exist in the church and ask ourselves if we are affected by any of them.  If we discover that we are, will we be willing to take their heads off?

(i)The church is full of beaten down 'sinners' – tradition says that is the way it is supposed to be – but who will go out and slay that Goliath?  Who will continue in the face of the belittling comments of the 'ex', the 'anti' and the 'un' – anointed? 

Who will boldly proclaim, "I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!"

(ii)The church is full of sick people – tradition says that's as it should be – but who will go out and slay that Goliath? 

Who will boldly proclaim, "By Jesus' stripes I am healed!"

(iii)Many in the church are slaves to depression and oppression – tradition says that's as it's always been – but who will go out and slay that Goliath? 

Who will boldly proclaim, "Whom the Son sets free is free indeed – I'm totally free in Jesus' name!"

(iv)Churches and individuals are bound by a poverty mentality – tradition says that is the way it's supposed to be – but who will go out and slay that Goliath? 

Who will boldly proclaim, "The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want – He leads me to a place of financial security – Lord, send now prosperity!"

(v)There are churches and individuals that are full of rebellion – tradition says that is the way it is – but who is going to go out and slay that Goliath? 

Who will boldly proclaim, "I submit to God and to the Lordship of Jesus Christ!"

(vi)There are churches full of Christians that are nothing more than 'pew-warmers' – and tradition says that is how it's always been – but who is going to slay that Goliath? 

Who will boldly proclaim, "I am a called and anointed minister of God – and He makes His ministers a flaming fire!"

(vii)There are churches all over the world with more women than men, and yet the women are seriously limited in ministry – and tradition says that's the way it must stay – but who will slay that Goliath? 

Who will boldly proclaim, "There is neither male nor female in Christ (the anointing) – I will fulfil my call without limitations!"

You can't pussyfoot around Goliath – you can't skirt around him – you don't get too many chances to bring him down before he gets you.

David went out with the anointing and hit Goliath right between the eyes – then he took Goliath's own sword and chopped off his head! No messing around! No procrastination! David didn't miss and hit the wall!

This is the same David who said concerning the Lord, 'He leads me in the paths of righteousness'

Scripture is clear: "The righteous are as bold as a lion!"  When the revelation of who we are in Christ – the righteousness of God – is established in our lives, there is no Goliath who can successfully oppose or intimidate us.  After all, "If God be for us – and He is – who can be against us?"

It is time to slay all the Goliaths of tradition – to decide whether we want to be grasshoppers or giant-killers!

Begin today by slaying the Goliaths in your own life – and move into the MORE of God!

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